The Maritime Report for May 23, 2013

The Maritime Report for May 23, 2013

Dave Bloch

The MV Cape Orlando. Contributed photo.

There were some interesting stories around the America's Cup this week. As I wrote in this space last Friday, the committee charged with reviewing what happened to Artemis Racing's "Big Red" AC72 was meeting; their first press release was very positive about how all the teams are agreeing to work together with the committee members, but expressed disappointment that Italy's Luna Rossa team was not going to abide by the committee's request not to restart AC72 until May 23. Sure enough, I went out to Ballena Bay on Monday and could see Luna Rossa flying around out in the South Bay. (If you have a marine VHF radio, the teams call in to Vessel Traffic Control when they're heading out to practice.)

Meanwhile the local Youth America's Cup team can also be seen out practicing in one of Oracle's AC45s, on days when the wind isn't too strong.

Gary Jobson speaks at Oakland Yacht Club

Gary Jobson signs books after speaking at the Oakland Yacht Club. Photo by Connie Russell, OYC.

A packed house came to Oakland Yacht Club to hear a presentation by world-renowned sailor, author, and NBC-TV commentator Gary Jobson. He has a wealth of interesting and/or really funny stories to tell from his years in these different roles. For example, in his current assignment as NBC's America's Cup commentator, the network has been emphasizing how the audience is not educated about sailing, and that it is really important to explain everything that's going on with lots of detail. "But don't talk too much! We've got those live microphones on all the boats, and want the viewers to hear what the sailors are saying!"

I expected Mr. Jobson to talk about the events of the past couple of weeks, and what they might mean for the regatta. But he steered clear of the topic, instead making this an evening of entertainment rather than controversy. He did address the advertised topic of "Who Looks Strong and Why?" with his prediction of the outcome:

Third place: Artemis Racing. (He indicated they've really got an awful lot they have to work through, and they have a brand new and still-unsailed boat.)

Second place: Luna Rossa Challenge. (But he wasn't as solid about this; the Italians are a close second too.)

First place (and moving to the America's Cup finals): Emirates Team New Zealand (which has been very solid throughout their months of practice on their AC72 down in Auckland).

And then, the winner of the America's Cup itself:

The Defender, Oracle Team USA (based on how skipper Jimmy Spithill seems to be able to come in first even if he starts the race in the back of the pack).

But having said all that, he emphasized that as in all of sports, "you just never know." He encouraged the audience at his talk to get out to watch the very first race in each series - the first time two teams match up. There's always some special excitement when teams who have never raced each other before meet for the first time.

National Maritime Day this Week

Yesterday (Wednesday) was National Maritime Day. The occasion was to be marked in Alameda aboard the U.S. Department of Transportation's MV Cape Orlando, which is docked near the U.S.S. Hornet. There were speeches by Alameda Mayor Marie Gilmore and others on the program for Wednesday's event, and the reading of a Presidential Proclamation. The presentations were to be followed by tours of the ship and accompanied by maritime displays. The event was sponsored by the U.S. Navy Operational Support Center Alameda, the Navy League, the U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Francisco, the local maritime industry and the City of Alameda.

We're off for a bit!

Your maritime reporter will be taking a break but will return in mid-June. Don't forget about Summer Sailstice, the great "get out on the water" event happening June 22 at Encinal Yacht Club! We'll be back in time for that, but find out more at http://SummerSailstice.com.